Over the last several years I've gotten into a routine of making soup at least once a week. This has been driven more by practical reasons than a sudden love for soup. With young children just learning to eat solids, soup is an easy meal solution. You can blend individual portions of the finished soup to whatever consistency your child can eat while the adults in the family can continue to eat the soup as is. Everybody's fed, everybody's happy.
However, practical benefits aside, I have to say that this weekly soup routine has caused me to develop a much greater appreciation for soup than I previously possessed. Soup is warm, comforting, and surprisingly satisfying, often a meal on its own. The following soup is no exception. It's a dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free soup comprised of a hearty combination of beans, barley, diced tomatoes, spinach and some other aromatic vegetables. It has good flavor and is quite nutritious as well.
RECIPE for Hearty Bean and Barley Soup by Cooking Light
- Omit parmesan cheese to make this dairy free
- To save time, I've skipped the initial step of boiling and straining the first several ingredients. Instead, I will add minced garlic while sauteeing the other aromatic veggies (carrot, onion, celery), add rosemary directly into the soup, and simply omit the crushed red pepper.